Day 21 – Dying with Compassion and Dignity

Dying, along with sex and birth, is one of the most intimate of human experiences. We are uncovered and vulnerable, a time when only our most trusted companions are allowed access. These most sacred of occasions should always be contextualized with compassion and dignity. For the dying, many times it represents a final relief from suffering. For the intimate witnesses, there is sadness and hopefully a celebration of a life well-lived.

Those who are walking those last faltering steps toward their end are especially in need of support and understanding. For many, that involves receiving end-of-life care in their own home or in a comforting environment, such as a hospice center. Hospitals can be sterile, impersonal places. Unfortunately, during the Coronavirus pandemic, loved ones haven’t even been allowed access to the hospitalized sick and dying.

Hospice Foundation of America (HFA), a non-profit educational organization based in Washington D.C., has provided education and resources for almost 4 decades. HFA meets its mission by providing programs for professional development, public education and information; funding research, producing publications, and by providing information on issues related to advance care planning, hospice and palliative care, caregiving, and grief.

The HFA website has a wealth of information available. Grief Resources. Grief is a reaction to loss. Our reactions are unique and individual; none of us experiences grief exactly the same way. Learning about Hospice. Finding a support group. Educational resources for professionals.  HFA has a perfect 100/100 rating on Charity Navigator.

May we all learn to live well, love well…and eventually have the privilege of dying with compassion and dignity.